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That's Not My Dog


I was hesitant to share this story at first. I've always believed it was a paranormal experience; but when telling the story to others, it's hard not to brush it off as "just a dog" or "just my imagination". But I wasn't the only one to experience this and I've seen so many others have similar stories on this site.

When I was between the ages of 6-11, my younger sister, Mom, Dad and I lived on a large farm. My parents rented the place and though much of the land was used for farming by the land owners, there weren't any actual farm animals on the property. There were acres upon acres of farm land, buildings and barns that hadn't been used in many years, and acres of forest we used for hunting at the rear of the property. Being the independent, Indiana Jones loving tomboy I was; it was heaven and I spent most days out wondering the area alone.

Now, even though there weren't any farm animals, our family did have pets. There were a ton of indoor and outdoor cats that just kind of showed up and our Labrador mix Ajax. Ajax was a big black mutt who still reigns as the best dog I've ever had in my life. He was so big he played with a bowling ball; rolling it up and down the driveway. He also liked to dunk the more troublesome tom cats in mud puddles... He was awesome.

I think I was 8 or 9 when this incident happened. As usual I was exploring. I know my intention was to go into the hayloft in the biggest of the barns. My friend and I were supposed to go up into it earlier that day, but he chickened out. So here I was at dusk walking down the long lane back to the Black Barn; thinking about what will lay before me after I climb that wooden ladder. (there were so many buildings we named them by color or what we thought they were for; like sheep barn, grain barn, red barn...)

I was playing with a blade of long grass in my hands and looking down at it when I heard the low growl. Honestly, I thought it was the wind at first. Looking up I saw a big black dog blocking the lane. Obviously, I thought it was Ajax; MY big black dog. I called out and began walking towards him when I heard the growl again. It was a low growl that felt like it made my chest vibrate. Maybe I was just being stupid, but I still thought this was Ajax. I started trying to placate him; "What's wrong boy?" "You ok buddy?", while still taking hesitant steps towards him.

As I got closer I realized just how much bigger this dog was than Ajax. I remember feeling an icy cold drape over me. This huge black dog was using his body to block my path, head turned towards me growling with his back arched up and his front paws stretched out as if ready to lunge.

Immediately upon realizing this thing wasn't my dog, I saw Ajax's head out of the corner of my right eye as he came up to stand next to me. Ajax didn't growl. I turned my head to look at him and I heard my Dad behind me say "Don't move" in his own human sort of growl.

I swear the next few seconds play back in my head like some sort of a movie. I was still looking at the dog that wasn't mine; his eyes as black as his fur, when I heard the clicking sound of Dad putting the rifle to his shoulder and hitting the safety. That was the moment I lost all my will; I turned back towards my dad and ran the few steps to him. In those few steps I heard Ajax bark and the gun go off; but I didn't see anything, my arms were wrapped around Dad's waist and my face buried in his beer belly.

Dad dropped the gun from his shoulder and put his hand on my shoulder; pulling me away from him and making me turn back towards the dog. (While to some it may seem harsh to make your young daughter stare at the dog you just killed, it was pretty normal with my dad/family)

The thing was, the dog wasn't there... It wasn't laying dead or running down the lane towards the forest or headed to the Black Barn...

I looked at Ajax, who was still looking in the direction the black dog had been with the fur on the back of his neck raised; then back up at my dad, with what I'm sure was a very shocked look on my face. All he said was "It's gone. Don't go in the Black Barn again."

I don't know how he'd known I had been in the barn earlier that day because he was at work; or how he could've known that's where I was going at that time because there were a bunch of buildings back there.

I'm going to preface the rest of this story with this: just about the only thing my dad and I had in common when I was growing up was a sensitivity to the paranormal and a love of reading. We didn't talk much, but when we did, it was usually about one of those two subjects and after he'd had a few drinks.

So here's the thing, we didn't talk about it right afterward. We were silent during the long walk back to the house that night. But we did talk about it a few weeks later.

Living out in a rural area you get used to predators like coyotes, foxes, even raccoons (those things are vicious!). And having a lot of barn cats, you get used to them disappearing; either running off or falling prey to one of the aforementioned predators. So, one time at dinner my sister mentioned a cat she hadn't seen for a while and I commented "I bet it was the black dog." and my dad said "Yeah, probably". I recognized this as my window and asked him about it after dinner.

He told me he'd seen that "thing" as he called it, a couple times before. He said it started by seeing it out of the corner of his eyes while he was hunting in the forested back acres. Later, saw it coming out of the Black Barn when he was pulling in after work one night. He said it was always at dawn or dusk when he saw it, when the light was low.

I specifically asked him about the incident a couple weeks before; what happened to the dog? Where did it go? He said (I swear I will never forget the sound of his voice when he said this for the rest of my life) "It was just smoke, there was no dog".

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, t_bev, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Fenrispro (58 posts)
3 years ago (2021-01-25)
Oh what is a baby blue Bel-Air? Having a black dog that large seemed scary
DarkSoul94 (3 stories) (4 posts)
4 years ago (2020-10-02)
Ooooh anything dealing with black dogs or other paranormal creatures is really interesting! I've heard of them being both malevolent and benevolent towards those who spot them. Whatever it's intentions were that's definitely a creepy story. But amazing too! Thanks for sharing! ❤️
t_bev (3 stories) (32 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-21)
I wanted to thank everyone for changing my perspective on this experience. Reading the comments and thinking back on this time, I do see things in a different light. Though it's still a memorable, scary and unexplained experience; I do think you may be right about this not something malicious vs a kind of protective entity/angel/guide (?).

Lealeigh - Marvin is an awesome name for a raccoon! And you're right about them being intelligent problem solvers. And so cute!
LightMight (4 stories) (137 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-19)
Another great story, t_bev!
Barns are so much fun to explore when you're a young kid, but they can also seem dangerous and spooky when you're all by yourself!

Do you know if this property was situated near any Native American land, or Tribal properties? Some cultures believe black dogs and wolves can symbolize a protective spirit, or a strong guide sent to protect you. On the other hand, black dogs can also represent a spirit with shapeshifting abilities, that aren't exactly a 'positive' influence. I guess it all depends on what type of immediate energy you felt during your experience with the big, black dog...
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-19)
t_bev - What a wonderful childhood you must have had on that farm. I know that as a child I would have envied you.

What a horrifying experience that must have been for you. I think anybody would have been absolutely terrified. A human ghost sitting quietly in a corner, ignoring you, wouldn't have had nearly the same effect. Then again, for some people it might.

I think that if the creature had wanted to harm any member of your family, it would have found an opportunity to do so. I must say it's a bit of a head-scratcher!

Regards, Melda
The_Lost_Voyage_11 (7 stories) (248 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-18)
Hi t_bev, fascinating story. That too was my first impression when reading your story, that despite its appearance, it was blocking the path to protect you. It never lunged and assumed a form you were familiar with. You said your dad was also sensitive and immediately after the encounter some of his first words were a warning to stay out of the black barn as if he sensed the intent behind the appearance. It knew where you were headed and was keeping you away. I imagine it did look fierce, probably scared both of you. I also think If it's intent was malicious, Ajax would have alerted you. His response in this is key. You mentioned the rest of the time you only saw this spirit out of the corner of your eye. Consider this, maybe it was watching over you, only allowing itself to be seen in glimpses so you would know you were protected and being watched over, only appearing directly to you that one time because it was necessary to stop you from going to the black barn. Perhaps as you mentioned because of the coyote, maybe something far more dangerous, who can say? Anyways good for thought on what picked up from your encounter, great story, I look forward to hearing more from you!
Lealeigh (5 stories) (512 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-18)
Hello t_bev,

I really enjoyed this story. I like how your dad openly said: "It was just smoke, there was no dog"...because, in my experience with talking to men about the paranormal, they are not usually so forthcoming - even if they do believe.

I'd like to add this as a side-note: I love raccoons. You said that they are vicious and I guess they are; but, they are also intelligent in a "problem-solving" way. I have seen several work together to knock over our garbage cans and a neighbor of mine, in Georgia, had one as a pet. Its name was "Marvin".

When you look at the footage from people's trail cameras, there are a lot of raccoons doing crazy things at night.

Anyway, thanks for sharing such a great story!

- Maria
t_bev (3 stories) (32 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-18)
Suzy2 - You bring up a good point. I never thought of it like that. At the time I was scared out of my mind, but if I think back on it in a way of protection, it changes my perspective a bit. Still scared though lol.

The only reason my Dad and Ajax were out there at that time and with the gun was because earlier in the day we'd seen a coyote hanging around close to the house. Seeing one in the middle of the day close to people is usually not a good sign; we were always wary of rabies and animals that weren't behaving as they usually would. Thinking back on it I'm surprised my mom let me go out...

So maybe it was protecting me from a rabid coyote? Who knows.

Side note: my mom was actually the one who got the coyote a few days later. I know it was a few days because my mom babysat during the summer and us older kids were locked in with the younger ones for what seemed like an eternity 😆
t_bev (3 stories) (32 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-18)
lady-glow - Thanks for the comments. I loved exploring that barn because it was huge. During that summer my friend and I spent a lot of time exploring all the side rooms in it; it was like a maze where they just kept adding on. We even found a beautiful baby blue Bel-Air under a tarp just sitting in this big cement garage area! After the incident with the dog it took a while before I went back in there. I wasn't allowed to but I did anyway; but I never felt weird in there.

I don't know if any of these next details can help with IDing this thing but: The black dog was seen a few more times over the years after this incident; but it was always more out of the corner of your eye. It seemed like it was slinking for lack of a better word, like low to the ground and moving in a way that reminds me of a German Shepard. I'm thinking of one specific incident; in the back woods it caught my eye so I tapped my sister and pointed, but it was really hard to look directly at it, like it blended into the trees or something. She saw it too but it was just weird how it was easier to see it out of the corner of your eyes than head on.
Other than this "dog" and a couple other odd things, the place was pretty quiet. Nothing weird ever happened in the house (except for big spiders) 😆
OCGirl (4 stories) (64 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-17)
That was a fascinating story. It really pulled me in. Did you ever have any more experiences with the black barn?
Suzy2 (5 stories) (17 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-17)
I agree with lady-glow, what an experience! I felt like I was right there with you and your dad. My initial thought was, this black dog was protecting you from something in that black barn.

Thank you for sharing your experience T_bev.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3163 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-17)
Wow, this is a fascinating experience!


I wonder what other secrets from the past were hiding in the old Black Barn. Although I don't see the need for an spectral animal feeding on the flesh of a living one, I imagine they could feed on the energy released by the fear of a prey at the moment of their death. It's hard to know if this black dog was the spirit of a mongrel from the past or if it was something more sinister taking the form of a dog.

Very well written and fascinating story. Thanks for sharing.

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